Game Design Methods
General Catalog Course Title:
Game Design Methods
Terms Offered:
Spring 2015
Spring 2014
Fall 2011
Fall 2010

In this studio course, students apply analytical tools of critical theory and tools of creative invention to game design, in particular electronic games. Beyond the framework of games as an audio-visual media experience, students analyze games as loci of performance, complete with performers, texts, media assets, and audiences. Course texts range from Schiller, F. and Piaget, J. to Juul, J. and offer a basis for research. In the second half of the semester. students will apply theoretical principles of game studies to practical game design. Methods used include extensive game modification, abstract game design, iterative game design and game-based learning, and will culminate in implementations of student game designs. These final projects may involve casual electronic games, using simple programming languages and electronic circuits, board games, or alternate reality, mixed world games. Students explore the performative aspects of games first through intense theoretical and historical work, then through some emulation work as we rebuild versions of the classic video game Pong, and finally by designing our own, digital or analog game for a specific audience. The course concludes with a game show final. All work in the first phase of the course will be published online for easy mutual review and linking. During the second phase of the course, the Pong emulation, they will learn the basic elements of planning and developing a very simple video game. In the final, most creative phase, we each build our own game from scratch, applying both the theoretical and practical aspects of what they learned so far to implement our own game ideas for other people to perform.

Sample Course Syllabus:
Resources Associated with this Course:
For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.